Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hello! I'm pretty new to lava and oozing goo. I found this site after searching for information and tips on restoring a lamp I found at my wife's grandma's house this week. Who knew that lava lamps would be a rabbit hole I found myself sliding down. 

I brought it home, plugged it in and have been working on getting it flowing, it flows but things are still not quite right. I order a GooKit from Magma Towers this week and plan on swapping out the goo and water when that comes in. I think the globe probably needs a good cleaning and some new wax/water.

I asked her when she bought this and she says she got it at Shaper Image in the late 70's. If you have any insight about this lamp I would love to hear it. I couldn't find any labels on the inside or bottom. The bottom has some old yellow felt that looks like it would be from the 70's.

Wife thought I should have just bought a new one instead of restoring this one but I really like the base with the little pin holes and I think it's more fun to restore old stuff. She's probably afraid that my lava lamp with start to reproduce and we will end up with a room full of them. Based on the galleries on this site I would say her fear is justified. 

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I think you're on the right track with restoring the contents.  I personally love the older screw-top globes, it's so much easier to work with them.  Use the search bar in the upper right part of the page to search cleaning globes, but the basics are to empty the current contents, rinse with HOT water, wash globe with Dawn dish soap and hot water, rinse with HOT water.  (some people use boiling water to rinse).  Clean the screw-top also but it's not that critical, just don't lose the o-ring.  Screw-tops are hard to come by so take care to not break it.

Your wife is a wise woman.  So as the Lava Lamps begin to reproduce you should be able to convince her that the calmness and serenity they seem to generate are worth the space to maintain more lamps.  Well, it's a working theory anyway.

I was also thinking, that wax and water look "off" somehow, like maybe something was added at some point.  Normally I would say to try and save the original wax but because of how it looks and because of the way the wax is sticking to the side of the globe I go along with a complete replacement of contents.

Another thing, is there a date stamped on the felt bottom?  It might not be visible anymore but that is one place they were stamped.  

I would restore it. The wax is floating to the top, which indicates to me that the density of the liquid is too high.

The old wax may have lost its adhesion to the coil. Try pouring off the liquid, saving the liquid in a separate jar, melting the wax by immersing the globe in hot water, with the lid off. Melt the wax back onto the coil, let it cool down, refill the globe with the original liquid, and see how it works. 

If that fails, pour off some of the liquid and save it in a jar.

Add some distilled water to the globe. 

Fire it up and see how it works. 

It takes time, but you should be able to restore this old Aristocrat.

Tell your wife the new ones are pieces of crap and they are not match to the quality of this lamp.  Just my humble opinion. Take it or leave it.  Hope you get the old lamp going, will be worth the effort for sure. Enjoy!

This is such a rabbit hole for sure, I really want a spaceship lamp and a wizard hat after surfing ebay. I ended up dumping and cleaning out the contents this weekend, it's all ready for the some new lava from Magma Tower. I think I'm going to try and reproduce the yellow wax in blue liquid so it looks like the original, reminds me I need to order some Neon McCormicks dye on Amazon (they didn't have any at the store). The old wax had a bunch of chunks of white separated wax so i'm pretty sure it was wasted.

Highliter pen ink or inkjet refill ink gives better results than food coloring.  Food coloring doesn't seem to last long term, although some have had good results with it.  Here is information on using highliter ink:

http://oozinggoo.ning.com/forum/topics/adding-color-to-globe-fluid

Christopher Cowan said:

This is such a rabbit hole for sure, I really want a spaceship lamp and a wizard hat after surfing ebay. I ended up dumping and cleaning out the contents this weekend, it's all ready for the some new lava from Magma Tower. I think I'm going to try and reproduce the yellow wax in blue liquid so it looks like the original, reminds me I need to order some Neon McCormicks dye on Amazon (they didn't have any at the store). The old wax had a bunch of chunks of white separated wax so i'm pretty sure it was wasted.

i have a screw top globe too that i also got from my grandmother. its in good working order, although i think the wax is getting thin, doesnt take long for it to get close to overheating.

Yeah the wax in mine was really really thin which is why I decided to replace the contents with a new kit. I also got a dimmer for the plug so it will be easier to adjust the amount of heat.

Dustin Eytcheson said:

i have a screw top globe too that i also got from my grandmother. its in good working order, although i think the wax is getting thin, doesnt take long for it to get close to overheating.

What kind of light bulb you using?  If it is a clear bulb you could swap out to frosted bulb, which is thought to be not as hot as a clear bulb.  If you choose not to go that route you could always put an inline dimmer and control light/heat output that way.  Just a thought, let us know.

Some of mine from the 70's have the original bulb, which is a 30 watt flood

Mr MaGoo said:

What kind of light bulb you using?  If it is a clear bulb you could swap out to frosted bulb, which is thought to be not as hot as a clear bulb.  If you choose not to go that route you could always put an inline dimmer and control light/heat output that way.  Just a thought, let us know.

Lol, we ALL knew about that danged rabbit hole!  

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